Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe from
Can a day have a mood swing?

Imagine a Monday with no boss, no rushing to work, no crowded morning commute, no alarm going off. I woke up, rolled over, stretched and decided to take a morning walk past the house with the toy train tracks built around it (with two working trains), the house built to resemble a Piet Mondrian piece, and the flock of pink flamingos that migrates around the neighborhood in a roving prank.

I returned home from my leisurely stroll just in time for my 'best ever chocolate chip cookie' dough to have aged 36 hours, baked cookies, watched a little 30 Rock while drinking cucumber water. Can it get any better? 

I went to work at noon, spent some time on accomplishing "important" tasks, such as convincing a good friend what is and is not considered a date. Going to play tennis could be a date, but not the way he presented it. I'm sorry, but no. You didn't pick the girl up, you didn't pay for anything, you didn't really even make a plan. If a girl goes jogging and then meets you for a game of tennis it is not a date. That my friend is hanging out. It is not a date....until you've been dating for like six months and even then, it's just spending time with your boy/girlfriend. Not. A. Date. 

I left work to head to a Whisked tasting, and the debacle continued via blackberry. 

We began enlisting outside sources to take sides in our what-constitutes-a-proper-date squabble.  My friend sneeringly produced each supportive answer he received: "sure," "definitely," "some of the best dates I've been on were free".....SLAM! 

Side bar: Long ago, on a date, a real date that was paid for, picked up, paired off and planned, my date was blindfolded. He was a foot taller than me. I was leading him by the hand, and I failed to notice a "low" hanging branch that was far above my head....conveniently at his forehead height....blood, scars and ten years later, what happened yesterday makes that feel like nothin'. Especially as I wasn't the one who did the feeling on that injury. 

Yes, I was injured while texting and walking. I feel like an idiot. I saw the construction at my eye level, but failed to pry my eyes away from the blackberry long enough to notice the pipe sticking out at my feet. I was bleeding, bruised, stubbornly silent, internally telling myself to just stare at the little Ethiopian restaurant sign "just stare, no swearing, no crying, if you stare long enough the pain will go away. Ohm. Ohm." 

To the credit of DC I was quickly offered napkins and water to clean my wounds by passersby. My friend helped me hobble over to a stoop for triage. You know what feels great? Putting pressure on a broken toe to stop the bleeding. 

Ohm. Ohm. 

I made it to 1905 Restaurant, had many excellent Whisked Treats (the grasshopper brownie taking me back to a favorite treat from my undergrad days) and hobbled my way to a CVS.

The worst part about broken toes is that you can't do anything for them, and feel like a complete wuss complaining about an injury that doesn't even merit a cast. You bandage it and tape it to the next toe over as a splint and just try to stay off it for a while. I take that back....the worst part was putting hydrogen peroxide on it after walking a mile through the city and subway to get home. Burns like a......ohm. Ohm.

By the time I made it home last night it felt like my happy morning with toy trains and worlds best ever chocolate chip cookie dough had never happened, but it had, and I'm glad of it. After this day, I needed the worlds best chocolate chip cookies.

36 hours before this day, I made my second go at the NYT recipe claiming that it is in fact the best chocolate chip cookie ever. There was an entire article explaining the science of this perfect cookie, explaining what chocolates to use, why to age the dough, the perfection of caramelized dough while baking....and it turns out they are right. This is am amazing cookie. Based on your oven, you will want to adapt the cooking times and temperatures a bit. I baked my cookies at a lower temperature, and if you aren't so lucky to have the recommended Jacques Torres disks or Valrhona oval shaped chocolate pieces that the Times suggests, I have a solution for you. Temper the chocolate and shape it into a thin large rectangle. Freeze, and chop into large pieces. I recently did this with some Callebaut chocolate chips I bought at Cheestique. It's certainly not any cheaper at $5 a cup, but the chocolate is amazing. Butchie makes this recipe often and prefers to use her highest quality dark chocolate bar chopped into chunks. Whatever your method I'm sure you'll love the cookies!

Without further ado, here is the recipe according the Times: 

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Published: July 9, 2008 Adapted from Jacques Torres

Perfection? Hint: It’s Warm and Has a Secret (July 9, 2008)

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
Sea salt or Kosher Salt

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. (Best at 36 hours!). Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate; Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are at Whole Foods.